Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks are exploring Andvord Bay, a fjord in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, through May.
The ongoing National Science Foundation-supported cruise is examining the biological response to oceanographic and glaciological forces within an Antarctic fjord. Phytoplankton in the fjord – a deep channel of water carved by glacial movement – support a range of wildlife from penguins to seals and whales.
Scripps research biologist Maria Vernet said changes in phytoplankton abundance and other dynamics at the base of the fjord food web from the time of a previous cruise in December 2015 and now are being studied and compared to changes in the amounts of meltwater, sediment and other physical inputs.
Renowned photographer Maria Stenzel is on board research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer during the cruise. View photos and video by her and other cruise participants here, on the blog FjordEco.wordpress.com, and on Instagram.
– Robert Monroe